Debbi followed the dog’s barking like a homing beacon. It was early evening and it was hotter than 100 degrees. She wandered the shopping center parking lot until she found the pup — a little, white Westie bouncing around the locked car.
Now Debbi isn’t one for confronting strangers. She’d never done it before. But for some reason, on that day a couple weeks ago, confronting the dog’s owner seemed like a good idea. Sometimes good ideas aren’t so good. "I did the knee-jerk reaction,” said Debbi, who didn’t want to give her last name for fear of retribution. Retribution from the people she confronted — not the Westie. "I was so mad at the moment.” All four windows were rolled down a few inches. But, of course, that doesn’t really matter. Cars are like ovens in the summer. Cracking the windows or parking in the shade doesn’t make a difference, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Debbi already knew this. Her husband’s a veterinarian. So she’s a de facto animal expert. Sort of. Well, not really. But she’s more of an expert than I am. She called 911, who transferred her to animal welfare. She gave the license plate number and a description of the car. Then she waited, standing guard of the Westie there in the parking lot. She poured some of her bottled water into the window for the dog to drink.